Make Some Financial New Year's Resolutions

PUBLISHED: 11:46 05 January 2011

black cab

black cab

Archant

Most of us can all fiddle with and reduce our insurance policy payments, cut down on nights out and find small but important savings here and there, and there is nothing wrong with taking such steps.

Ed Foss talks about making finacial changes in the new year.

SO what are your financial new year’s resolutions?

The new year has brought with it more than the usual number of reasons to spend less money. Static incomes, rising VAT and fuel taxes, increases to train fares, worrying price rises and no certainty that savers will benefit from an interest rate hike in the near future. And that is to name but a few of the high profile problems so many of us face.

Most of us can all fiddle with and reduce our insurance policy payments, cut down on nights out and find small but important savings here and there, and there is nothing wrong with taking such steps.

But is it time, for some people, to be a bit more radical than that and instead of tinkering around the edges, to make a real step change to their financial lives?

Here are two ideas to take a really significant chunk out of your spending.

For two car families, reduce to one.

It’s a big choice and one which will not suit everyone, with age, workplace flexibility and the availability of public transport just some of the major issues, but think about the savings while also considering the solutions.

It’s something I have done myself, which was a big decision considering there are two working adults and two primary aged children in the house. We live rurally, a mile-and-a-half from the nearest train station and with fairly poor bus provision. Fortunately I like walking and cycling, while the train runs to close to where I need to go for work.

On weekends it takes some real organisation and communication to allow everyone to do what they want to – and sometimes it’s simply not possible to keep everyone happy, although more often than not there is a solution. With juggling it has proved workable.

The main part of the bargain is that we save a four-figure sum. Consider road tax, insurance, MoT and service – and that is before paying the best part of £1.30 per litre for diesel.

If anyone gets stuck, the savings mean a taxi is no longer a luxury, but an accepted part of the deal.

The second big step is to completely change the way you food shop.

It’s easy with food shopping to fall into easy habits, the same supermarket, the same items, week in and week out, year after year.

Look into the practicalities of online shopping, turning to the burgeoning lines of basics items (you will probably hate some of them, but others are just as good as the more expensive branded goods) and even visiting two supermarkets instead of one.

Canny shoppers will often start their ‘two store’ supermarket shop at one of the cheaper supermarkets, buying what they are happy with for a fair bit less. They then go on to their more favoured supermarket to finish the job. It takes more time and means you have to queue and pay twice, which is an undeniable hassle. But when faced with such difficult times, it may be a worthwhile hassle.

For personal finance news, views, analysis and comment, log on to our new MyMoney24.co.uk website.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ely Standard

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists